Elizabeth Schwan-Rosenwald, VP, External Affairs, describes her experience representing Taproot at the White House.
Walking into the White House is momentous, no matter the reason. But this was not a tour, or a class trip with my daughter, or something I finagled. I was invited to speak at the White House to celebrate something I’ve been working towards for 6+ years. This was a significant moment in my career.
I was at the White House along with national leaders brought together to celebrate the great strides made and impact leveraged by our nation’s pro bono movement. Points of Light, in partnership with the US Chamber of Commerce and the White House, coordinated the day that served to not only command successes but also to catalyze further engagement.
I was proud to represent Taproot Foundation, dubbed by Points of Light CEO Tracy Hoover as “The Christopher Columbus of the movement.”
Pro bono’s progress
While normally being the last to speak after 15 previous speakers is not an enviable placement, last Thursday it was. Because it let me talk about the goose-bumps I’d had listening to the innovations in pro bono that 10 years ago were unimaginable. I teared up when Tracy stated that 2,500 companies were now engaged in pro bono. In 2009, the year I joined the Taproot Foundation, that number was closer to 250.
Most of us don’t get to walk into the White House and see the progress their work has had on creating real change. Last Thursday I did. And not only did it inspire me, it challenged me. There is so much more we can do to make pro bono resources fully leveraged. Perhaps in another 10 years we’ll be back celebrating universal adoption of pro bono!
You can read more from the perspective of Points of Light CEO, Tracy Hoover, in her blog, Challenging What’s Possible in Pro Bono Service.